Theophilus London – Why Even Try (feat. Sara Quin) [from Timez Are Weird These Days]
This was a big year in Hip Hop, with releases from some of the biggest names in the game. If you follow Hip Hop closely, you might have noticed the mixtape scene blowing up this last year also. Everyone from the backpack rappers to the big guns released mixtapes. And speaking of big guns…
♪ Jay-Z and Kanye West – Ni**as in Paris (from Watch The Throne) [stream only]
Probably my favorite rapper from the last couple years is Theophilus London. The Haitian born, Brooklyn raised artist has been quoted saying Morrissey is his biggest influence. London also has the coolest style out there. He has his own line of snapbacks and a collaboration with shoe company Cole Haan. The best part of his music, is that most of it is free — all of his mixtapes can be easily found online.
♪ Theophilus London – Why Even Try (feat. Sara Quin) (from Timez Are Weird These Days)
One rapper/producer that made a name for himself this last year was a skinny skater kid from LA with some of the most disturbing lyrics in popular music since Eminem. Tyler, The Creator, and the Odd Future crew (aka OFWGKTA) were probably the most blogged about topic in music. Tyler’s debut album Goblin was released with much anticipation and was later signed to a major label deal that led him to work with Pharrell and Pusha T from Clipse. Check out Odd Future’s tumblr if you want some free tunes and maybe some nightmares. They are a weird bunch of dudes.
♪ Pusha T – Trouble On My Mind (feat. Tyler, The Creator) (from Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray) [check out the video below]
My frequent collaborator, 35mmBeats, introduced me to this mix-tape maestro way back (at least 6 months ago), though I must admit, it wasn’t until the last month or so that I really gave this artist the listening time he deserves. But for the past week, i’ve listened (almost exclusively) to Mr. London and i’m quite impressed/obsessed.
It’s hard to describe Theophilus London’s sound. Yes. He’s a Brooklyn rapper, but his electro, dark synth, 80’s hip hop, indie influences, and songwriting skills (not to mention his keen fashion sense), set him apart from the typical hip hopper. I should also note, he’s reached critical acclaim without ever releasing a full length.
Some of my favorite Theophilus tracks are below, but be sure to pick up the Lovers Holiday EP on February 8 (preorder) and keep an eye out for his debut full length, which is set for a Spring release. Also, be sure to bookmark This Charming Blog to maintain your Theophilus fix.
[UPDATE] You can stream the entire Lovers Holiday EP courtesy of Spin Magazine.
Theophilus London – GREY X SAGE (Sabali Remix)
Amadou & Mariam – Sabali (Theophilus London Remix)
The xx – You’ve Got The Love (Theophilus London Remix)
Theophilus London – Flying Overseas (feat Devonté Hynes & Solange Knowles)
Theophilus London – Why Even Try (feat. Sara Quin) [free download here]